December 4, 2014

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a Center for Ethics and Education that will bring philosophers and social scientists together to work on issues in education. I think this is a fantastic idea, and should be emulated by other universities. Harry Brighouse, a philosophy professor at UW-M, is spearheading the project. Center researchers will look especially closely at issues of inequality in education. Rather than just noting how trends in inequality are perpetuated over the course of multiple generations, Brighouse… Read more

December 2, 2014

While I admire American Atheists’ chutzpah for operating deep in hostile territory, I think their strategy is misguided. This Christmas season they are showing billboards in the Bible Belt with little children saying things like “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I’m too old for fairy tales.” I don’t think this is the best use of their resources, for several reasons. (Image via The Telegraph) First, I don’t think billboards are the proper venue for… Read more

December 1, 2014

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the breathtaking short film “Wanderers” making its rounds on social media. In a previous post, I mentioned the difference between religious believers and religious explorers—The former seeks truth but actually wants certainty; the latter seeks truth at the expense of certainty. But whether you’re a believer or an explorer, it’s tough not to be moved by the grandeur of this brief film. As the film’s creator, Erik Wernquist states: Wanderers is a vision of… Read more

November 30, 2014

Last year Rush Limbaugh said that President Obama was having an orgasm over Pope Francis and his seemingly liberal worldview. It’s certainly a welcome sign when the leader of the largest Christian denomination in the United States weighs in on some of the pernicious effects of modern capitalism—income inequality being Public Enemy Number One—because his pronouncements may sway the hearts and minds of a huge electorate. Pope Francis has even recently put his pontifical weight behind modern science, decrying humanity’s… Read more

November 29, 2014

Earlier this week, author and biology professor Ursula Goodenough wrote a post called “Exploring The Religious Naturalist Option” at NPR’s 13.7 cosmos & culture blog. She was addressing the common refrain we hear today from people who claim to be “spiritual but not religious.” Goodenough offers a different take on this trend, “one that incorporates the science-based understandings of nature.” For me, the difference between identifying as religious versus spiritual is the difference between identifying as a religious believer versus… Read more

November 28, 2014

In this inaugural post, I want to explain the name of the blog, my reason for writing it, and what to expect from my posts. Check out my About Me page for my personal background, as well as some more information about the origin of my concept. The inspiration for the title comes from the late poet Wallace Stevens’s famous poem, “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction.” Wallace Stevens via Sylvia Salmi Stevens believed that poetry could be the “supreme fiction”… Read more

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